Award nominee passionate about breaking cycle of reoffending


Federation TAFE Site Coordinator at Hopkins Corrections Centre, Emily Innes, has been nominated for a national award, which recognises exceptional training and education champions in prison and community corrections settings.

Emily is the Victorian nominee for the Bob Semmens Award for the Australasian Corrections Education Association (ACEA) Corrections Training and Education Champion of the Year.

Emily completed a bachelor’s degree in Rural Social Welfare before going back to study a Graduate Diploma in Primary Education in 2009 and commenced at Hopkins Corrections Centre in 2018.

The nominee coordinates the teachers and education programs onsite at the prison.

She attributes the success of the programs to her hardworking team who she actively encourages to be innovative - within the restrictions of the prison system.

Emily led the implementation of a horticulture program at the prison that saw horticulture students designing and growing plants for a nearby corrections training facility garden.

Emily is driven by education being the means for empowerment, believing that education is one of the best ways for people to make positive choices in their life.

Emily has been nominated for the ACEA Bob Semmens Award for her dedication to creating a strong, inclusive culture within Hopkins Corrections Centre, leading staff in empowering individuals in their current and post-release lives.

The award winner will be announced at the virtual conference on 16-17 November.

Quotes attributable to Federation University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Vocational Education and Training) and CEO TAFE, Liam Sloan

“We are so proud of Emily for being nominated for the ACEA Corrections Training and Education Champion of the Year.”

“Emily has demonstrated a passion for breaking the cycle of reoffending by creating accessible education pathways within the prison.”

“Our TAFE educators work across two prisons in Victoria, with capacity for up to 1200 prisoners. This year 808 prisoners have participated in our education programs.”

Quotes attributable to Federation TAFE Site Coordinator at Hopkins Corrections Centre, Emily

“If engaging with Education in Prison means that someone makes a different choice when they are back in society, then hopefully our communities are then safer for everyone.”

“I like to think that the education centre at Hopkins is a welcoming place that prisoners attend to start taking positive steps in their life.”

“Being nominated is a little overwhelming as the coordinator, I really see myself as a backstage person who gets things organised for the teaching team to do their thing.”